I was given a challenge last night at a Michaelmas Evensong to write a new hymn for harvest so this morning I sat down and gave it a go. Harvest in other parts of the country may differ but, having taken the dogs for a walk this morning and watched small gatherings of Meadow Pipits scurrying around, I got home and looked up whether they migrate from the UK for winter. The answer appears to be that some do and some don’t. I was then aware that the swallows and swifts have left already and that hedges were being trimmed and the lanes, once again, have become 3 feet wider. I was also cheered by the sight of both a Green Woodpecker and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!
So that’s the explanation for this:
Michaelmas migration, swifts and swallows fly
Seeking other harvests, throng the dimming sky.
Birds Murmurating, full of hope and fear
Now Sahara crossing, southward is their steer.
Silage stored for winter, hedges cut and trimmed.
Apple harvest gathered, cider vats full, brimmed
Bounty from summer, blossom set and swelled
All God’s hedgerow gathered, not a drop withheld.
Equinox equation, balanced day and night
Triggers winter’s onset, storms the skies ignite.
Barns full of grain, now drying. Market cheer
Beckons winter’s solstice; Christmas drawing near.
Praise God for the harvest. Hidden from our sight
Spirit’s life now moving, make our hearts delight
To praise the Son, whose harvest gathers in
All creation’s longing, as we live for Him.
© Nick Shutt 2016.
11,11,10,11 (Noel Nouvelet)